*Clearing the coast
Coast Pacific, established in 1993 exports indoor and outdoor furniture. “Being aware of the environmental and ecological concerns, we continuously try to expound and create products that are friendly to our surroundings,”
The company uses plastic extrusion in order to get the natural look of wood for their furniture thereby reducing the need to cut more trees. “[We also] lessen environment pollution as there’s no need to use paints for finishing,” explains Lo. Coast Pacific further helps mother earth by recycling natural wastes such as fallen leaves and coconut shells, fossilizing and laminating them to turn into creative home furnishings.
Design, functionality, and quality characterize their products which has rightfully earned Coast Pacific the Golden Shell Award for Design Excellence in 1998, the highest recognition given by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to export companies.
Recognizing not only their responsibility to the environment but also to the community, this 16 year-old company employs around 300 workers.
*"The Venus way”
Indigenous materials are increasingly used by Venus Crafts Corp. in their diverse collection of furniture and furnishings. Chief Executive Officer and President Venus Genson says that there is a greater demand from foreign buyers for products that use local materials such as wild vines, bamboo, sea grass, coco twigs.
She explains this trash to cash business: “The materials we use range from coconuts to seashells and bamboo cuttings. Other people think of these things as garbage, but to us they’re the goose that lays the golden eggs.”
In addition to their commitment to the environment, further admirable is Venus Crafts dedication to poverty reduction in their province. Through years of perseverance, Venus Genson now runs 9 integrated companies, providing hundreds of poor families in rural areas with an income and uses the profits to feed up to two thousand school children. She calls it “the Venus way.”
*Leaving nature’s legacy
Eco-entrepreneurs Pete and Catherine Delantar, the husband and wife tandem behind Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc., have come up with an innovative line of home and garden furniture and accessories as well as architectural components, fashion complements, and footwear made out of “forest castaways.”
This patented material innovation, which took two years to perfect, was borne during a clean up drive in their community where mounds of dried twigs, leaves, and forest wastes gave Catherine the idea of making use of these agro-forest debris as raw material. “These twigs are not endangered. [They] die after a certain number of months because the top soil has no more nutrients,” explains Pete Delantar, the company’s President.
Called Naturescast, these scraps are shredded and bonded together using odorless water-based binder and then fashioned into functional, decorative pieces which are 100% biodegradable. “We don’t just gather [the scraps], we rescue them; give them a second life. We call it regeneration…
Nature’s Legacy is highly recognized and awarded for its pioneering innovations and efforts as well as its green practices. Among its recognitions is the prestigious Golden Shell Award for excellence in design and manufacturing in 2004.
*A piece of the Japanese market
Understanding the culture [of Japan] is understanding [its] lifestyle, preference, and values. You cannot penetrate a market just by selling [your product]. You must understand what they really want,” shares Delantar.
On 11-13 November 2009, Coast Pacific, Venus Crafts, and Nature’s Legacy will be participating in the 31st Japan Home and Building Show in Tokyo, the ultimate all-professional building and construction materials event in East Asia, along with 6 other local manufacturers.
“[We] attend international shows to be more exposed and to present our products to the market [which is better than] sitting and waiting for buyers to come and knock at our door,” says Coast Pacific’s Vice-President.
In addition to participating in the 3-day trade show, all nine local companies will go on a business mission in the Greater Tokyo Area, meeting with big distributors, wholesalers, and trade associations.
Joining Coast Pacific and Nature’s Legacy are: Corro-Coat, Inc. (powder coating and emulsions), Demex Rattancraft, Inc. (home décor and rattan furniture), EZ Rocks Co., Inc. (manufactured stones for wall cladding), GT Stoneworks (manufactured stone for wall cladding), Piedra Systems, Inc. (manufactured stones for wall cladding), and Teresa Marble Corp. (marble products).
The Philippine participation to the Japan Home and Building Show is led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry. For more information, please log on to www.citem.gov.ph/
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The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is an export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.